A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Ian Vaughn
Date: 2020 Jan 19, 13:43 -0800
Interesting. I've certainly seen both professional and OEM GNSS receivers that have no difficulty receiving Galileo / Beidu in the US as recently as last week. Depending on the phone in question, it's also worth considering the more mundane possibility that the GNSS receiver or its antenna may not support Galileo. The contellation only reached initial operating capability in 2016, and the standard frequencies fall just outside the band used by Navstar and GLONASS. Not sure about Android, but iPhone only added support in 2017. I just recently ran into a case where a new receiver with an old antenna design suffered very limited Galileo / Beidu reception.
I'm not a lawyer, but FCC rules include a bunch of exceptions, exemptions, and other caveats. Google has plenty of incentive to avoid legal problems, and virtually no incentive to go from 2.0m to 0.7m location accuracy (or whatever). Survey-grade GPS manufacturers are much more interested in jumping through hoops for marginal performance improvements. Perhaps they've even applied for licenses, exemptions, or whatever. There's also the regulations that matter at the border; not sure about general receivers, but electronic devices intended for sale to business are regulated differently than consumer electronics under FCC Part 15. Perhaps some similar loophole is going on here?
At least NavList is unlikely to run into the mess that is US export law. Sextants appear unregulated, but any star tracker with "azimuth accuracy equal or better than 20 arc-seconds through the lifespan of the equipment" is export controlled (Commerce Control List, ECCN 7A004). A "space-qualified star-tracker with accuracy less than or equal to 1 arc-second and tracking rate greater than 3.0 deg/s" is considered a munition! (USML, XV.e.16)